If you’ve started a new exercise program, included a different activity to usual, or you simply pushed yourself harder than usual, you’ve probably experienced the one to two-day muscle soreness that follows. It’s usually nothing to be concerned about, and actually has a medical name – delayed onset muscle soreness (sometimes called DOMS).1

The soreness occurs as a result of microscopic damage or tears to the muscle fibres. Again, nothing to be concerned about, it’s your body’s way of rebuilding the muscles to make them stronger.1,2 Even elite athletes and bodybuilders can suffer soreness.2

 

Can heat help?

 

It certainly can. In fact, applying heat not only helps relieve muscle soreness or stiffness, but it also enhances the recovery process. Heat stimulates nerve receptors to block the transmission of pain signals to your brain, which helps relieve the pain.3 But other good things happen too. When heat is applied to muscles, blood vessels widen and blood flow to the area increases. The increased blood flow also brings more nutrients to help with the ‘healing process’.3 The elasticity (ability to stretch and contract freely) is also increased, which helps release muscle tension and make those ‘knots’ disappear.3 Additionally, the heat stimulates your natural metabolic rate making more energy available for injury repair.3

 

Try Hotteeze Heat Pads that can stick under clothing, while you are on the go!

 

Massage is also great for relieving muscle soreness, and the BodiSure range of massagers includes a couple of very useful products that combine both heat and massage – all in the comfort of your own home. You can check them out here.

 

When not to use heat

 

While heat is ideal for relaxing tight or sore muscles or even stiff joints, it is not recommended when inflammation is present.4 If you experience swelling or inflammation, perhaps the result of a sprain or strain, then cold therapy is a better option.4 If in doubt, speak to your healthcare professional.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/pain-after-exercise/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/sore-muscles-keep-exercising#1
  3. https://physioworks.com.au/faq/heat-packs-why-does-heat-feel-so-good/
  4. https://www.britannica.com/story/why-does-heat-relax-your-muscles

 

*Always read & follow the instructions for use & health warnings. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Do not stick directly on skin.

^Always read & follow the instructions for use. Do not use with any electronic medical devices e.g. pacemakers.